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5.24 | dream a little dream

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Monthly Prompts 2024

Diurnal Rhythms


There was something to be said, maybe, about the cruelty in creating a child. One for you and you alone to care for, willingly or not, and the consequences that come with that. For some maybe, it’s a simple life to hold. They cling to you, they bound about, they live. Oh how they live, and they live happily too. So happily, without consequence or strife. Sometimes, maybe, they aren’t so lucky. Maybe they leave your side for someone else instead, or go along altogether, regardless of your mistakes or good nature.


Or maybe they’re kind, and good. So, so very good.

And instead of going by choice, it’s by force.





Galia doesn’t know how long she’s been sitting there. Silent beneath that tree, the sun long since finishing its rise to the waking world. How long had it been up that high? How long had the heat of it been baking into her fur, warming it and the leaves that curl so deep they touch her skin. Just how long had she sat there, stiff and her eyes glued to the cursed, empty spot between her forelimbs, where a kind little vessel once rested in a ball.

The crows are cawing, singing to the open air.

She feels grief for a child who isn’t even dead.


He’ll come back. She knows he will. He always comes back, her beloved son, her darling daughter - at the fall of every sun her little moonshine will always return to her. Right beneath this tree, right within her arms. The fog will roll in, the day will say goodbye, and the night will return to her what is hers. It cannot keep him forever, and it doesn’t. It gives him back.

But their time spent is so short. Hours upon hours wondering, what if this one is different? What if this sunrise bleeds into disaster, and the moon will not give back what is rightfully Galia’s? What she made, and it claimed some kinship with? He was never the moon’s to have, and yet when it leaves, he does too. For what?


For what?


What cursed mistake did she do in the process of his creation that could’ve led to this? Was it doing it at night? Was it the way she found him, broken and frail within the grass, the moon staring down at his battered form? Had it been then, performing such a trick of granting him life again, doing it beneath the gaze of a never blinking moon, that she cursed him? That she cursed herself to watch him go every single day?


A crow lands on her front limb, and doesn’t dare step into the vague bowl her little one would rest inside. His fog is gone, faded hours ago maybe. The crow chatters, the sound a soft warble as its talons press to the thin fur of her leg.


‘Soon,’ Galia promises. ‘He’ll come back soon.’

The crow doesn’t answer her. There’s no need for it to do so.


It’s simple logic, really. Ozzie is bound by the moon, the few hours it exists and the even fewer hours that the sky is dark. And Galia has no boundaries. She may live, wait, and watch for the stretches of time her creation cannot come with her.


Some days it’s easier. Some days she gets up from the tree and walks on her way, spending her day sunbathing and enjoying the warmth that blasted ball of flame brings. Maybe she’ll even leave, venturing beyond the stretch of her forest and seeing what might lie outside of it, on this plane or otherwise. Things to bide her time with, to keep busy so she needn’t sit and wait.

But sometimes that’s all she can do.

Sitting.

Waiting.

Watching.

Locked in place by a ball and chain she doesn’t even have. Tethered by a leash she long hasn’t had touch her skin - her crows unable to stretch their wings and venture across red leaves because they too, like her, can do nothing but swarm and stare. Beady eyes boring into the empty spot, a spot that shouldn’t be so lifeless and will remain so for hours. Maybe even longer, should the season dare call for it.


Perhaps the concept of ‘eternal night’ people speak of isn’t such a bad idea.


But Galia cannot wallow forever. She won’t. She knows the logic, she knows the truth. He will return. He will be fine, and he will live again, and he will be brought back by the fog and moon and the rising of stars he can’t ever touch.


So she rises, startling her birds and sending them flying with vile screeches to the sky above. Laughing faintly, demanding some others.


‘Soon,’ she repeats to herself, maple leaves falling off her fur and gathering in that spot as she flees, eyes burning. Soon.





The moon stares down at him. A pearly thing, hung by silver silken strands. Colors faded, lit only by the strung up stars that sway and twinkle like windchimes.


She watched you.


She always does. When does She not?

He doesn’t quite know what to think of it, if he’s honest. Nervous, upset. It feels sad to leave. To leave Her there, without him. The memory is always hazy, like falling asleep, and it feels no different than a dream.

But if She watches him go, and watches him wake, does She ever venture anywhere?

Does She leave?

Or does She watch always?


I don’t know,,, why She does it.

Doesn’t She know?

That I’ll come home?


Do you think She is aware? That you come to Me when you die?


… Am I,,, dying?


That is what She thinks.

Sleeping, dying, ceasing, dreaming.

It is all the same, in the end.


But…

But I don’t want to die.


Then you are not dying.


Not dying.

He never thought of it as dying.

Would this count? As dying? Is he dying when he leaves Her side? When he fades, and his mind gets hazy, and he can’t feel anything anymore but Her warmth?

Her Daylight?

Is he dying when he leaves Daylight?


I don’t want to die.


You’ve said that already, sweet child.

And I have promised you, you are not.


I’m dreaming?


If you wish to be.


Dreaming.

Dreaming sounds nicer than dying.

When he dreams, he can dream of anything. Of Them, of Her, of himself.

He can dream of many things all at once, even. Where it all can exist.

He can dream about what the Sun might feel like. How it might bleed on his fur, dripping honey down and making him feel warm.

Would it be as warm as She? As Daylight?

Would it make him feel how Daylight does?

He doesn’t think anything could make him feel how Daylight does.


When I dream…

What am I allowed to see?


Anything.


Anything?


Anything.

A dream is what you choose for it to be.

A dream is Me.

A dream is Her.

A dream is You.


Me?


You.

For you are the source of that dream. That cease. That sleep.

It is for you to decide what you see in your own dreams.

Not I.

Not Her.

Only You.


Only him.

Only he can choose what he wants to see.

Only he can choose what he wants to dream.


You’re growing hazy, sweet child.

Is this how you wish to spend Our time together? Short as it is?


I don’t know.

It’s hard.

I want… I want to dream.

But I’m already dreaming. Aren’t I?

I can’t change a dream I chose.


Of course you can.


I can?


You can choose anything.

How you dream, to wake.

I am not the one keeping you from dreaming.

You asked for My company. So I am here.


So… If I wanted Daylight-?


Then Daylight will come.


Daylight will come.

If he wishes for Daylight, then She’ll appear. Without question. Without waiting.

He will get his Daylight, and She will get her Moonlight.


He feels tired.

The moon is getting hazier, the stars shimmering, the threads that keep them aloft glittering against the backdrop of the night sky.

Fog is pooling from his eyes, collecting at his feet, spreading out on the strange platform he settles on. Rings flicker out along the reflective waters that hold him steady, distorting the image he stares at.


I think,,, I’m waking up.


You are indeed.


Will She be there?


Of course She will be.

You needn’t doubt that for a second, sweet child.

She has never left you waiting once.

She will not leave you waiting now.


She’ll be there.

Daylight will be there.


Galia will be there.


He, Ozzie, that distorted little creature, can feel this visage fading. He feels weak, the fog curling tight around him like a blanket and making his joints numb and quiver. His head bends, a soft little wheeze of a whine ripping from his throat as he lays down on the water’s surface. It ripples, bleeding out as stars begin to descend on their silvery thread, and the moon in turn rises, fading out of view.

The world is going dark. The fog feels blinding.


The dream, short as it felt, is coming to an end.


‘Daylight,’ he finds himself mumbling, eyes glazing over as his face melts into fog and water.


‘... Mother…’





The sky is darkening.


What was once a brilliant blue is fading to nothing more than a faint echo of it, pinks and purples lining the sky as the sun once more dies, giving way to the birth of a silver moon.

And with the moon comes fog.

And with fog, comes him.


Galia sits beneath that tree, humming a tune she long has forgotten the name of, yet still remembers the sound. Her crows sit silent, their own red petals flicking down and being carried off by the wind of oncoming nightfall. They wait, just like her, for the revival of a winged little creature they mourn for every morning. Just like her, their tether to the plane, they do not go far. Their talons dig into bark and roots, eyes glued to the rising, newly birthed moon that is being strung up in its rebirth.


They stare, unblinking, as the stars begin to become clearer on a purple and navy sky.

And they watch, ever vigilant, as fog begins to bleed through the trees.


For all her hem and hawing, however inconsistent it may be, there is no denying the relief that floods through her aching joints when the ritual comes undisturbed. Because that’s what you’d call this, no? A ritual. The return of a beloved child, back to the place they belong, after ‘dying’ and fading away in your arms only hours prior.


To be constrained by such a clock is mournful.

But she will not hesitate to make the best of each night they have together.


The fog is pooling up the small hill, circling around the tree, around her. Galia can’t help it when her eyes crinkle with a smile, the boy ever obvious even when he isn’t awake yet. She makes a gentle sound, the tune stuttering as her noises bleed to something almost like a purr instead. Her limbs slip, the grass cushioning her fall as she settles back into position.

The earth remembers how she’s supposed to be, and how he is supposed to wake.

Slotting into the spot feels almost like coming home.


A crow finally makes a sound, flying to perch on her back and tangling with maple leaves. It chatters, looking over her shoulder like some worried parent.


‘Relax,’ Galia hums, voice dull and tired as if she herself hadn’t stressed before. ‘He’s coming back. Just as I said he would, did I not?’


Another crow makes a low, half-amused sound in mocking. The fool.


Galia doesn’t bother commenting on it, focusing instead on the mass slowly coming into being between her limbs. The fog collects, the sky growing ever darker as the moon fully takes hold - the stars a witness to a repeated yet never disrespected event. No matter how many times it repeats, it would never be taken for granted.

The moon beams down, unblinking, the stars an ever twinkling choir of watchful gazes.

And the fog forms, blankets, and bleeds away to expose red, black, and that darling little face she could never tire of seeing.


He’s limp, curled against her just as he’d been when he left. Face hidden in the fur of her chest, eyes heavy and glossed with a distant sleep-like trance. His whiskers are caught in the grass, his body cold as the dead. That’s fine. She had enough warmth for the both of them to last.


He snuffles, the sound faint. A quiet little murmur bleeding out of his throat as he absently presses into her form.


‘Come now,’ Galia mumbles, voice low as she bends her head. Her own muzzle noses at the top of his skull, gentle sounds coming from a depth she chooses to ignore. ‘There you are… My darling boy… I have you dear, I have you plenty…

‘Mother…’

‘Yes, there you are,’ she whispers, eyes crinkling. ‘Show me that dear little face.’


Ozzie makes a brittle sound, awareness finally seeming to bleed back into his system. It takes time, a few minutes as always, but his head raises regardless of how foggy with ‘sleep’ it still is. He makes little chirps and chirrups at her, like a bird or kitten of sorts, and she responds by nuzzling the blunt end of her snout against his face, messing the thin fur and making him chatter in mild complaint.


‘Mama-’

‘Do not ‘mama’ me,’ Galia grumbles, nuzzling against his cheek more firmly as he awakens. ‘You left me all day, as usual. I need to make up for the lost time.’

‘I’m sorry, mama-’

‘None of that. No apologies. I need some time alone from you anyway, I would just prefer it not be all the time the sun is up.’


Ozzie makes a proper squeak at that, meant to be a yell of sorts but broken to nothing more than a frail squawk. He looks up at the older creature, eyes big and glossy with welling tears. ‘You don’t miss me?’

‘If I didn’t miss you, I wouldn’t be here right now.’

‘But you said--’

‘I said alone time,’ Galia chuckles, pressing their foreheads together. He settles, melting. ‘Not forever.’


Not forever.

She doesn’t know if she’d even last forever again.


They sit that way for a time. The crows caw in victory, singing broken songs that sound like kind music to the souls who bask for the first few moments. The stars distantly chime their tunes, singing ever proud in their appraisal.


The moon watches, silent yet seeing.


Ozzie’s limbs shake, but he rises on them anyway even as Galia warns him to sit. His wings flick out, rapidly flapping, the moonglow shining through them and painting the grass hues of red before the creature settles. He shakes off like a dog, and his eyes crinkle and squint with the semblance of a big smile.

‘I wanna go see the water!’


Galia stares at him for a moment, silent. In all his glory, bouncing back from the disappearance as fast as ever. As if it never happened. As if he hadn’t left her for that entire day to wherever he goes, whatever dream he dreams.

He’s merely,,, here. Back. Home. As if he never left.


Her joints creak, whining bones screaming at her, but Galia rises anyway.


‘I am not going to the water.’

‘Why not?’

‘I don’t want my feet wet, Ozzie.’


He giggles, as if she’s said something funny rather than blatantly true.


‘Then you can watch me play!’ The little ghost jumps away, turning back with that same look on his face. ‘We can pretend! And you can watch! I won’t even splash you!’

‘You say that every time, and then you splash me anyway.’

‘Please? Please watch, Daylight?’


Galia pauses at the name.


The wind cards through her fur, and her crows caw up above. They dance through the sky, red petals raining down like the kindest of storms, their bodies vanishing as they head to the place they already know the night will take them. A lake, where Galia will sit at the edges, and Ozzie will play, and she’ll be soaked anyway regardless of how much she doesn’t want to be.


That old creature sighs, shaking her head, and starts walking.


‘Of course I’ll watch you, foolish child.’


Of course I'll watch you, little Moonlight.

fulfilling both a monthly prompt and a request with this one

ask yourself: what do YOU think the consequences of watching your nocturnal kid just vanish into thin air every day will do to the psyche? what does the child even dream about WHEN they vanish??


the answer is of course the moon, their best friend


---

we're gonna try and score this one, but staff is free to smack me with the incorrect stick if this is deemed too out there lmao


55(wc: 2776) 10(monthly) 10(other) 20(interact) 5(elemental) 1(small swarm) 5(personal) 24(storyteller) || 130 AP


Ozzie

27.5(wc: 2776) 1(monthly) 5(elemental) 18(storyteller) || 51.5 GP


Galia Dirty-Ramen

27.5(wc: 2776) 1(monthly) 1(small swarm) 18(storyteller) || 47.5 GP

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BXSILISKDRAWZ's avatar

the way how you convey emotion is so tender and soft... and at the same time bone chilling this is AMAZING


how do I eat someone's writing skills